PEI

What were Islanders Googling in 2020? Take a guess

A comparison of the fastest rising trends in Google searches in 2019 and 2020 is a reminder of the very different world Prince Edward Islanders have been living in.

Islanders using Google were far more focused in 2020

In 2019, Islanders were excited about the Toronto Raptors, they wanted to know more about Disney Plus and the local newspaper. In 2020, searches were more singular in focus. (Chinnapong/Shutterstock)

A comparison of the fastest rising trends in Google searches in 2019 and 2020 is a reminder of the very different world Prince Edward Islanders have been living in.

In 2019, Islanders were excited about the Toronto Raptors, they wanted to know more about Disney Plus and the local newspaper, they were watching stocks, looking into the latest gadgets for their phones and checking out the local hockey team.

In 2020, it was coronavirus, COVID-19, and Worldometer — a site that became popular for tracking COVID-19 cases internationally — with a couple of searches for the U.S. election.

The picture does not become more diverse if you start breaking down the searches by category.

Somehow Worldometer made it to the top of People and Society searches. In 2019, it was actual person and American makeup artist Jeffree Star. Worldometer also made it to the top of Reference searches.

As the top overall rising search in 2019, "Disney Plus" was also at the top in Arts and Entertainment that year. In 2020 it was "quarantine," which is neither artsy nor entertaining. Presumably people were looking for things to do in quarantine.

The Toronto Raptors garnered a lot of interest from Islanders on Google in 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

And here's one that's a little difficult to comprehend in this time of online living: the fastest rising search in Online Communities in 2019 wasn't even an online community. It was the trampoline park Off the Wallz. In 2020 it was Google Meet, which is not nearly as much fun.

People searching Pets and Animals in 2019 did have serious matters on their minds, many of them were looking for vet clinics. The top-rising search in 2020 was "coronavirus symptoms," which went along with "symptoms of coronavirus" at number 4.

Hampton Inn, Moncton, anyone? (Hampton Inn)

In 2019, people searching Travel wanted to know about Pearson International, Sydney boutique hotels and Hampton Inn in Moncton (not the most exotic of destinations, but at least it is a destination). In 2020, the top rising search was Air Canada stock.

Will Islanders be able to celebrate 2021 with a greater variety of topics? The end of the year did not bring much cheer on that front.

By August, P.E.I. Googlers had become bored with COVID, relegating it outside the top 25 of overall searches.

But in November, with the second wave rolling across Canada it rose to the 17th spot. In December, with the bubble shattered, it climbed back into the top 5.

More from CBC P.E.I.

About the Author

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.

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